Saturday, May 27, 2017

---Alberta’s auditor general has estimated the environmental liability of the tailings ponds at $20.8 billion. “Albertans have been waiting five decades for this toxic legacy to be dealt with,” McNeill said.------------Julie Ali · University of Alberta It is amusing to see these reports that the AER is rejecting the tailings pond management plans of the oil and gas companies. This sort of back and forth tug of war has been ongoing between various permutations of the energy regulator and the industry for ages. In the process the citizens have come to understand that this is just a fiction that is being written to meet the needs of the industry as being responsible managers of the resources that they are using to generate major profits. The government of Alberta under the PCs and the NDP folks don't count in this tug of war because this is really a fiction being written by the front office folks of big oil and the industry itself and we would not want the politicians to meddle in this creativity would we? The tailings ponds will not be remediated. The money spent on the research would be better invested in stocks and bonds that would earn returns to pay for the presence of a permanent moonscape in Alberta. In other words, instead of wasting money on the AER and on the research put the money invested in these areas into the Heritage Trust Fund as payment for pollution that the polluters won't otherwise pay for. We're no longer credulous. We are beyond this. Like · Reply · Just now

http://www.tuttartpitturasculturapoesiamusica.com/2011/12/armen-gasparian-1966-russian-symbolist.html
In March 2017 Suncor's plan for the tailings ponds it generates is rejected by the AER. We are told by media that there is to be a "showdown". This is nonsense. All that was going on here was the usual show that the energy regulator puts on to the public to indicate that it is serious about the job it does. It's sort of like what successive health ministers do when folks are abused and die in the continuing care system. They tell the outraged public that they take these issues seriously (which they do when the public finds out about them) but immediately after the show is done, everyone goes back to sleep and the system stays the same.
In the case of the tailings ponds we've had this show for five decades and it will continue until the industry leaves the province leaving us with the liability that will not be paid for by the polluters. Trust me. This sort of show is to simply put the public back to sleep and later there is more chatter of how the oil and gas company has met the requirements and so can be approved for more polluting.


http://globalnews.ca/news/3346832/alberta-oilsands-tailings-showdown-is-looming-report/

March 30, 2017 3:01 pm

Alberta oilsands tailings showdown is looming: report

By Bob Weber The Canadian Press
A tailings pond at the Syncrude oilsands facility is seen from a helicopter near Fort McMurray, Alta., July 10, 2012.
A tailings pond at the Syncrude oilsands facility is seen from a helicopter near Fort McMurray, Alta., July 10, 2012.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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Alberta’s oilsands could be heading for another showdown over tailings ponds after an independent assessment found that the cleanup plans of six major operators don’t meet new rules.
Suncor’s intentions have been rejected by the Alberta Energy Regulator and a clean-energy think tank says its analysis has concluded plans by other producers have similar shortcomings.

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“All companies have submitted plans that are not consistent with Alberta’s tailings management framework,” said Jodi McNeill of the Pembina Institute. “We expect the regulator to reject other deficient plans.”
Last July, the regulator released a directive requiring producers to outline how they will deal with the extensive toxic ponds that cover more than 220 square kilometres and contain almost 1.2 trillion litres of contaminated water.
Toxic materials include bitumen, naphthenic acids, cyanide and heavy metals. They pose a threat to wildlife and release air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Research suggests they are leaching into groundwater.
A spokesman for the regulator said the Suncor decision shouldn’t be seen as a precedent.
“AER’s decision on Suncor’s tailings management plan is without prejudice to any applications that Suncor may submit, or to the other six tailings management plan applications that the AER is currently reviewing,” Ryan Bartlett said in an emailed statement.
But the plans filed by six major producers for eight projects reveal big problems, said McNeill.
The directive was intended to check the ponds’ growth. But Pembina found that, taken together, tailings volumes won’t start dropping until 2037 — 17 years after the government’s original target.
The new rules were also supposed to push producers to progressively clean up the ponds and to have sites ready to reclaim no more than 10 years after a mine closes.
Pembina suggests the filed applications don’t meet the spirit of those rules. Estimates for full reclamation range from 15 years to more than 70 years.
Suncor’s Millennium and Steepbank mines are to close in the early 2030s and take until 2095 to reclaim.
Most of the operators contacted by The Canadian Press declined to comment while their applications are before the regulator.
But Syncrude spokesman Will Gibson said his company’s plans meet the directive, despite the Mildred Lake mine’s expected closure in the mid-2030s with full cleanup by 2110.
Gibson said the regulator is only asking companies to have lands ready to reclaim within 10 years.
“Ready to reclaim doesn’t mean that the actual reclamation of the tailings deposit has to be finished or even get started,” he said.
“Based on these definitions, our plans meet all the requirements.”
McNeill said the directive allows some flexibility, but the regulator should interpret and enforce the directive aggressively to ensure Albertans won’t have to keep their eye on the tailings ponds for generations to come.
In the Suncor decision, the regulator emphasized that companies must prove that “ready to reclaim” means what it says. The directive also stipulates that risks in technology used to clean up the ponds must be identified and credible alternatives offered.
Six out of the eight mines studied by Pembina propose to use end-pit lakes. That involves pouring treated tailings into an engineered basin and capping them with fresh water.
In its ruling on Suncor’s proposal, the regulator called that approach unproven. It said that without more information, or a realistic plan B, relying on end-pit lakes wasn’t acceptable.
Suncor has said it will work with the regulator to bring its proposal in line.
The directive is the regulator’s second attempt to deal with tailings. Another one from 2009 was scrapped soon after producers complained they couldn’t meet its targets.
On March 13, 2015, Fletcher Kent filed this report after the Alberta government developed a new way to ensure toxic tailings ponds get cleaned up.
McNeill said the Pembina analysis is an attempt to urge the regulator to enforce its orders while mines are still generating revenue.
“There’s definitely more urgency,” she said. “Some mines are going to be closing in 10 to 15 years from now. There’s no room to kick the can down the road even further.”
McNeill acknowledged remediation is harder when oil prices are low.
“Cleaning up tailings is expensive,” she said. “The fact of the matter is, though, that they’ve created this waste and they’re responsible for it.”
Alberta’s auditor general has estimated the environmental liability of the tailings ponds at $20.8 billion.

“Albertans have been waiting five decades for this toxic legacy to be dealt with,” McNeill said.
***************************


It is really getting ridiculous reading the baloney issued by the less than productive energy regulator in Alberta. We're supposed to believe that the AER will do anything to get the tailings ponds remediated when it hasn't been done for decades?
I doubt that any of these tailings ponds will be remediated but certainly we will be subject to the ongoing drama that is all fictive episodes that indicate to us that the energy regulator can get the oil and gas companies to do ANYTHING.
It can't.
We are told that there is a ten year plan.
The reality is that there is no plan.
Just look at the time line provided in this article:

http://globalnews.ca/news/3346832/alberta-oilsands-tailings-showdown-is-looming-report/

Pembina suggests the filed applications don’t meet the spirit of those rules. Estimates for full reclamation range from 15 years to more than 70 years.
Suncor’s Millennium and Steepbank mines are to close in the early 2030s and take until 2095 to reclaim.
Most of the operators contacted by The Canadian Press declined to comment while their applications are before the regulator.
But Syncrude spokesman Will Gibson said his company’s plans meet the directive, despite the Mildred Lake mine’s expected closure in the mid-2030s with full cleanup by 2110.
****
We can understand from this section of the article that it will take until 2110 for these mines to be reclaimed but the mines themselves will be shut down in the early 2030s. I doubt that the oil and gas industry will be sticking around to reclaim anything once these mines are closed. Just look at the situation in the orphan well program where we are giving the industry $235 million with $30 million to cover interest costs for what reason?  Apparently we are providing jobs to citizens that they lost when the oil and gas industry fired them. If this isn't lunacy then I don't know what is but certainly it shows us how we are being screwed from both ends.


The AER is just a front office filled with expensive hires that aren't there to do real work. They are --like the political hires there to PRETEND to do work. It's very frustrating for citizens to believe that either politicians or AER hires are there to do work. It's best to realize that they are there to act in a play that has been ongoing in Alberta for decades and will continue until all the oil and gas is gone.

We're creating a moonscape in Alberta and this moonscape will be there for our children and grandchildren. Best to accept this and watch the show at the AER and at the GOA with amusement. Well amusement and acceptance because we're going to have future generations paying for the incompetence of all these folks. There is no showdown and there never will be. What there will be is all the spin that the AER and the GOA can generate because both these entities are complicit in the decades long failures to get the oil and gas industry to operate in a responsible way in Alberta.


One doesn't expect the oil and gas monarchs to do more than huff and puff and blow the assets of Albertans away leaving us with the aforementioned moonscape.


http://globalnews.ca/news/3346832/alberta-oilsands-tailings-showdown-is-looming-report/

Alberta’s auditor general has estimated the environmental liability of the tailings ponds at $20.8 billion.

“Albertans have been waiting five decades for this toxic legacy to be dealt with,” McNeill said.


Julie Ali · 

It is amusing to see these reports that the AER is rejecting the tailings pond management plans of the oil and gas companies. This sort of back and forth tug of war has been ongoing between various permutations of the energy regulator and the industry for ages. In the process the citizens have come to understand that this is just a fiction that is being written to meet the needs of the industry as being responsible managers of the resources that they are using to generate major profits.

The government of Alberta under the PCs and the NDP folks don't count in this tug of war because this is really a fiction being written by the front office folks of big oil and the industry itself and we would not want the politicians to meddle in this creativity would we?

The tailings ponds will not be remediated. The money spent on the research would be better invested in stocks and bonds that would earn returns to pay for the presence of a permanent moonscape in Alberta.

In other words, instead of wasting money on the AER and on the research put the money invested in these areas into the Heritage Trust Fund as payment for pollution that the polluters won't otherwise pay for. We're no longer credulous. We are beyond this.
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